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Once in lifetime Tuscany trip, recommendations

Once in lifetime Tuscany trip, recommendations

Feb 6th, 2009, 04:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2009
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I'll be villa shopping tonight!! Thank you for the ideas.

In Paris accessability to transportation is important. As far as budget goes mom tought me "always get the best no matter how cheap it is"! A smaller hotel might be easier to get around in and we are not looking for luxury, probably mid price range. One room, two beds is fine.

You all have helped me alot, thanks.

Jaymingo is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 04:28 PM
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I agree about Val d'Orcia to be the best art subject. I would stay with her in a small Tuscan village for convenience--look at Palazzo del Capitano in San Quirico.
bobthenavigator is online now  
Feb 6th, 2009, 05:06 PM
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As an Ontarian, I give my complete confidence to someone called muskoka.

Flying into Florence (Peretola) from CDG is pretty easy on Air France and they often have pretty good fares.

We jsut arranged "open jaws" flights (Montreal- Paris CDG - Rome; Florence- Paris CDG- Montreal) for March.

Note that posters on this Forum state that Florence airport is small and at some hours there are few staff to do check-in, so you need to be there early.

The castle of Montegufoni is a bit remote for my taste.

OTOH: I'm fascinated by the Sitwell family, the former owners -- true monsters of selfishness (Sir George, Lady Ida, Osbert, Sacheverell and even hideously plain Edith).

I'd suggest a town or small city, with easy access to the countryside. One of the Val d'Orcia towns could be perfect in that season....
tedgale is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 05:40 PM
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For Paris, I would suggest taking a look at this hotel. Gets good reviews on TripAdvisor and a very good location, too. Book the triple room.

Weekender is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 05:45 PM
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Why, thank you, tedgale!
muskoka is online now  
Feb 7th, 2009, 02:51 AM
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hi jay,

when i read this the first time round I thought that you were trying to shoe-horn Paris and tuscany into one week. glad I was wrong.

I would be looking for somewhere were you don't have to go out to eat - if mum has been overdoing it, she may not feel like going out in the evening. also ground-floor access /a lift. and parking. and a swimming pool &/or shops for your daughter [who otherwise is goingg to bored out of her skull while granny paints].

what with that and a view, it's going to narrow your options down a bit.

good luck,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 03:24 AM
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If your mother can navigate one sometimes tall step, I'd suggest that you look for a Paris hotel next to a bus stop and take buses. Otherwise look for a place next to a taxi rank (Michelin maps show these--blue T I think) because I'd think that trying to climb the steps in the metros could be tough. You can google "bus in Paris" and probably find maps showing where the bus stops are.

Annhig makes a great point about the need to find a place that will be right for your Mother's painting AND have enough to keep your daughter interested. Tough one. The advice you've gotten about places like Pienza and San Quirico de Orcia is probably good. While the B&B La Sarcina would be fantastic, it's very pricey so you'll probably want to look for lodging that's a bit more in keeping with your philosophy. Check out Trip Advisor and Italyby.com for options. Good luck. Enjoy
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 05:42 AM
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Hi Jay,

>"always get the best no matter how cheap it is"<

We always stay at the Hotel Bonaparte, 61 Rue Bonaparte in the 6th. From 134E for twin beds w/bkfst. It is just around the corner from Place St. Sulpice, near 3 metro stops and 4 bus routes. Has AC and an elevator.

The staff speaks English well, and is very helpful.

Tel 33 1 43 26 97 37
FAX 33 1 46 33 57 67
[email protected]

For more info, enter "Hotel Bonaparte" in the "search this forum" box.

ira is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 05:43 AM
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That's in Paris.
ira is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 06:28 AM
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I like http://www.tuscany.net for looking at agriturismos. From there you can contact the agriturismo directly by googling to find their website. Hope you have a very special trip, it will create memories for a lifetime!
luvlimoncello is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 05:20 AM
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personally, I'd be looking for a hotel in Tuscany - then if you and DD want to get out while granny paints, you know she can get coffee, etc. while you're away.
annhig is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 05:53 AM
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Take a look at visiting Montisi, which is an artists's colony just south of Siena.


Another town you might consider visiting is Buonconvento, which has the virtue of being totally flat.


I agree that being able to walk outside and set up right on the terrace to paing the view would be idea. Walking surfaces in Italy are highly problematic.

I suggest you show your mother pictues of the Val d'Orcia area and the Crete Senese area. They are actually different areas with different inspiration. Likewise, the area around San Galgano in Southern Tuscany. You can do all this with Google searches, using the "images" feature.

Also, if I'm not mistaken, Sant'Antimo is under restoration -- the outside, so it may not be the best time to paint it.

I think Rome may be your best entry-point airport.

zeppole is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 02:46 PM
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I'd second Zeppole's note to check out the Crete Siennese area--near Siena. It's where those pictures with the cypress lined ridge lines zig zagging down the hills come from. The area is, IMO, more beautiful than even the area around Pienza, etc. but I found the towns less interesting. Tough choices.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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Jaymingo, what a wonderful idea, have a beautiful trip!

If you are staying near Siena, I highly recommend you consider booking a day-tour with Roberto Bechi, a licensed guide who lives in Siena and speaks fluent English...he has a wonderful sense of humor. He takes small groups in his van. His web is www.toursbyroberto.com Next time we're in Tuscany I plan to book another day-tour with him.

I originally found him because he was recommended in Rick Steves guidebook to Italy.

Also, there's another web-site where they are especially knowledgeable about Italy. It's www.slowtrav.com . They also have info on renting a villa in Italy.

When I planned our family trip to Italy, I used fodors.com and slowtrav.com extensively, and had a fantastic trip!

Melissa5 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 08:37 AM
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How do you post a trip report?
Jaymingo is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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OH, I can't wait for your report. Top left of this page: Start a new topic, then click on appropriate titles (trip report is one of them). I leave soon for a trip with two artist friends and we will be staying at: www.artistinitaly.com.
bfrac is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 10:30 AM
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Jaymingo: I just found this thread, and can't wait for the trip report. Please please please!

I'm a love of Tuscany, and would have told you to take MOM to the Val d'Orcia area, because the views are so great -- I've been there three times with painter friends..

But wherever you took your Mom must have been a treat! I'm almost her age and planning another stay at a villa at La Foce next June, but I have to go with DH cuz he's never been there.
taconictraveler is offline  
Sep 27th, 2009, 11:26 AM
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I didn't realize one could stay at La Foce. I am reading War in the Val d'Orcia.
bfrac is offline  
Sep 28th, 2009, 07:00 PM
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bfrac: Yes, indeed - I first learned about La Foce when a friend suggested I read The War in The Val d'Orcia several years ago.

Now I've stayed there twice, and am going again -

Check the web site: LaFoce.com and it's all there, several houses to rent, and also apartments. It's a fabulous place.
taconictraveler is offline  
Sep 29th, 2009, 04:04 AM
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taconic: I just finished the book and looking at the website it is amazing how they have restored it since the war. I will be staying nearby in a few weeks and plan a visit. We are three women traveling this time and want to find a perfect place for us to come back to with our husbands. This is definitely it. Thank you.
bfrac is offline  

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